Thursday, July 30, 2015
Now, on this medication I am feeling depressed, despondent, hostile, angry, unhappy, sad, violent...all the negative and violent feelings...Up and down and up and down...constant, irritating, sudden. This is not helpful. I have never experienced this with any other medication.
I think I'm going to go AMA again. I'm not happy.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
You want to ride my bumper?
I'll maintain speed or, if I'm in a really bad mood I'll go slower.
You want to travel 100 MPH up until you get on my bumper and realize I haven't altered speed?
I'm still going to maintain speed.
You want to beep at me?
I'm still going to be maintaining speed.
There's an emergency vehicle flashing lights (and with the siren blaring)?
I'll be slowing down and pulling over.
Why am I going to be maintaining speed, slowing down or slowing down and pulling over?
Because: The law states you travel at or below the posted speed limit. You know what speed limit stands for? "Speed limit" means that is the maximum speed you are allowed to travel on that road, no more. So, yeah if you're going to be speeding around me, I'm going to be maintaining my speed at or below the speed limit.
This is a skill learned after phonics (a method of teaching people to read by correlating sounds with letters or groups of letters in an alphabetic writing system)--after one learns to read (phonics) they learn how to understand the words put together (comprehension). This skill is taught early in life: anywhere from four years old to 9 years old--and is a continuing process because new words and conjunctions are put together every day. Here is a decent website that I have found on reading comprehension: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/understanding-reading-comprehension
To me, reading comprehension is important. One needs to be able to put the words together that they have read, understand their individual meanings and be able to construct what they all mean when put together. This is a very difficult process to teach and depending on the person: a very difficult thing to learn.
This brings me to the way that I speak and write. I do not use "words under the lines", I speak and write straightforward, which is difficult because everyone's perception is different. Even though what I speak or write has one specific meaning (to me) it could mean several different things to another person. That basic understanding of perception makes communication in both written and spoken word very difficult for me, because I generally like to use "big words" like "comprehension" or "conjunction" or "correlation" --to most people those are not big words but then you have a select few who cannot go further than "understand" or "union" or "link", even though they are synonymous: no one likes to use a thesaurus.
I do appreciate anyone and everyone who reads my blog. I write just in case my son wants a better understanding of what happened and what I went through...and the bonus is that other people get to read as well and garner insights so that they have a better understanding of how a TBI affects a person (specifically me, because TBIs affect everyone differently--please don't put what I am going through or doing or knowing on anyone you may know who has a TBI or yourself. When I write, I try and refrain from using harsh language, which had been brought to my attention a year or two ago--harsh language helps no one and makes a person (in my opinion) seem less educated when there is a plethora of words to use in the English language. If anyone has read from the beginning, you should notice a difference in my writing style, especially the words that I use. As I recover, I am getting back what I had learned early in life with regards to reading, writing, spelling, etc.
I do apologize if this blog entry seems pretentious and rude. This entry is specifically in reaction to comments that were attempted because of perceived insult. If you (general "you", by the way: no one specific) are having difficulty reading my blog or somehow become offended, I insist that you look into using a thesaurus and honing your reading comprehension skills. Otherwise, comment for clarification, specify how and where, so that I can edit the entry in question.
Monday, July 27, 2015
My son is a morning person and generally wakes up anywhere from 4AM to 8AM. I guess he woke up very early yesterday and didn't try to wake anyone up (I'm guessing that he was nervous or afraid to wake anyone because he didn't want to get yelled at). Since he didn't wake any one, no responsible adult was up to supervise him and he went and played in the bathroom--where the sink was clogged so it overflowed and the bathroom flooded.
He was punished and since (I guess) a spanking and lecture weren't enough, that he also couldn't go swimming. Mind you my son is three years old right now and no one was awake to supervise him. In my mind, my son is being punished for being three years old--for doing something that he would not have done had an adult been awake and supervising him. It really makes me upset when he is getting punished (so severely) for something that isn't even his fault.
So. I took him swimming.
In my opinion, you can't get mad at a kid for doing something you could have prevented (just by being awake). And, to top it off: I'm being complained at that my three year old son should have known to stay in bed and wait for someone to get up....That he should know his daddy's sleep schedule and abide by it. Seriously. I'm being told that my three year old son is supposed to be responsible for another person's (an adult, mind you) sleep schedule.
Okay. I'm done. I'm still a bit upset but: This too shall pass.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Well. When I began this blog, I was married to my now ex-husband and then life happened. The biggest problem was (and, at the moment, still is) money; we were poor, then the accident happened and we became destitute. Even though everyone says that money cannot bring happiness, it does seem to be a key factor in keeping stress down thus helping relationships remain intact.
Ever since (even before) the accident, I have been trying to earn a degree to become a nurse. I have been working very hard to get to a better position in life, a place where I don't have to worry about whether I can get gas for my car or if I can pay a bill or if something is going to get shut off. With my settlement, I was able to maintain our bills up until the near end of our lease. Anyway, because I'm focusing on building my future, I haven't really built on any intimate relationships (contrary to popular belief).
I reconnected with my best friend from elementary school and she has been amazing; I cannot believe that we have known each other for over twenty years. Throughout this ordeal, I have made several friends and lost a few others. All of the friends that I have are amazing and offer me a lot of support, although most of them I met through the internet and it's difficult to connect because they have lives and are busy (which obviously I'm okay with!).
To elaborate on intimate relationships: this is a personal topic that I won't go into detail about. I am focusing on building my future.
While all of this is going on (working, attempting to go to college, maintaining friendships, etc.), I have been spending a lot of time with my son. I can't spend everyday all day with him, but I get to see him multiple times a week which is better than nothing at all. Before I got my car, we would take the bus and just travel around the city. Now that I have my car, we are able to go much further and do more. So far, we have gone swimming almost every weekend and a few weekdays. I'm planning on taking him to the zoo, Kiddie Park and a few museums too.
That is how things are going regarding relationships in my life right now.
When I received my settlement around February 2013 I was able to purchase a lot of things to make our (my family and I) lives stable and set. We had my truck, a home (for at least one-year upfront), furniture and each other. I had goals when these things were bought. I had expectations. I thought that I had been clear and I thought that everything was going to be okay.
I was unable to get back in to what I had been doing right before the accident and I was unable to find a job that I was satisfied with and paid well. I tried college several times since and because of childcare issues I failed miserably--none of which was my son's fault, just to be clear. Our lease ran out before I was able to get, find and keep a job that would allow us to continue where we were. I had to sell just about everything that was bought with my settlement--mostly so that I didn't have much to move with me and partly to have money enough to pay the bills.
Thus began my homelessness. I was able to find shelter at friend's homes with my son but temporary stays do not qualify as "home". If you don't know by now: my husband and I separated and divorced. I was able to get hired at several places, but I either wasn't comfortable working there or the distance was too much or the hours were wonky. Basically, I was homeless and even though I did have a job I was so poor that I was basically jobless.
I made friends with someone who felt compassion towards me and offered me a home for at least the year. Even though this is a temporary situation, I'm doing so much better: I can plan out, I can move forward. I now have decent paying work with potential for more and better work. I have the potential to get my own apartment and not just a one-bedroom either.
My truck (2006 Ford Expedition) was totaled on Black Friday 2014. I was travelling the speed limit on the main road and the vehicle that collided with mine was exiting a parking lot. The light I was passing under blinked yellow (as it's permanently set to) and the light the other vehicle passed under was blinking red (as it's permanently set to). My truck was...it's too sad to even explain how my truck looked...it got hit hard by a sedan. A sedan totaled my truck.
With the money from insurance, I bought a 2006 Hyundai Sonata. I didn't like it. I felt pressured and wheedled throughout the entire transaction--and it was not the sales representative that made me feel that way. This was early December 2014 and the rear suspension rusted and cracked out around February 2015. I lost out on that car and the insurance...everything. That was a completely wasted moment and if I weren't so forgiving, I'd still be lamenting it.
It took me quite a while to be able to purchase the vehicle I currently have, but I was able to do it. I have to make payments and there's insurance and maintenance but I have transportation now... So, yay?
Oh, and college? I'll be able to start that up again as soon as I get things settled out and more stable over here.
Friday, July 24, 2015
What's interesting is that I have been dealing with my mental health since about 2009. I have been to around five different psychiatrists, not because I'm a terrible patient but, because of changing insurances and scheduling issues. My first psychiatrist was pretty good, I liked him and considering what I've been through with recent psychiatrists, I might go find out if he's accepting new patients again. My psychiatrists since have been pretty decent until they see my medical record--that's where things get iffy.
In my medical record I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, this has been since the beginning (2009) and the medications that I was prescribed were Celexa and Abilify (I would give you dosage amounts but that would be imprudent). Celexa is for anxiety and depression. Celexa worked well on it's own but I kept getting panic attacks that manifested as heart-racing, can't catch my breath moments plus the feeling of racing thoughts without actually thinking of anything (it was odd but my psychiatrist then understood what I was saying). After experiencing those attacks for about two weeks, I scheduled a follow-up with said psychiatrist and he prescribed me Abilify and that stopped the panic attacks and racing thoughts. I really liked that combination because it helped a ton...except that (from a friend's account) I would behave as if I were awake when I was actually sleeping--my friend asked me where my car keys were and I got up, answered her questions with sleep-slurred speech and attempted to go look for my keys and she stopped me because she realized I was not awake and coaxed me back to lying down again. As much as I liked those medications together, I'm hesitant to start them again because that behavior of seemingly being awake yet actually being asleep...That's scary.
I was doing well on those medications until I couldn't afford my health insurance with BCBS anymore and I definitely couldn't afford Abilify at $600/bottle of 30 pills. Needless to say, I did a very dangerous and unhealthy thing by stopping Celexa and Abilify, cold-turkey without weaning off of them. (Don't ever stop taking psych medications without doctor supervision!) This last bit was about 2010.
I started seeing another psychiatrist after the car accident, about July 2012 (I believe I posted about it then too). This psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor. I had a terrible experience on this drug. I was unable to go to the follow-up with this psychiatrist because someone at the hospital cancelled my appointment, did not reschedule it and I was never informed (Well, why didn't I just go, yadda yadda yadda? I had just come out of a coma after a severe car accident with head trauma not even 4 months earlier and you want me to remember a follow-up appointment on my own? No.). The withdrawal from Effexor was 100% different and 100% worse than what I experienced from Celexa and Abilify.
I believe I started another new psychiatrist in 2013...maybe...I can't even remember if I posted about it--but I did start up a new psychiatrist after that one transferred off of my case. Now, I got prescribed Celexa, Abilify and Trazadone. However, my psychiatrist had to change Abilify to Risperidone because Abilify is too expensive for my insurance to cover. Depakote was added to the mix after my two month follow-up. I suppose they were all working nicely...maybe.
Next, I ended up being hospitalized--if you didn't read or don't remember reading about my mental breakdown circa September 2014--and during my stay, the doctors at this new hospital (I was shipped away from my regular care providers, to a completely different city altogether) decided to play with my medications (to see which ones were working and how much of what works best). I ended up with Celexa, Risperidone, Trazadone and Depakote (I think there was a fifth one, but I can't remember), leaving the hospital.
Then. I almost got hospitalized again. Instead, I was sent to a crisis center (January 2015).
At the end of my stay at the crisis center, I was still on those medications but I had a new psychiatrist to see. This change in psychiatrists had to do with the fact that I was working with a case management agency--there are companies out there that employ people to help people like me or people in my situation, maintain their medications, appointments and other things to keep them stable/balanced/etc--I was told by my then case manager that I had to see the psychiatrist in their facility otherwise I couldn't use their services. This did not go well. I tried to go to my follow-up appointment with this case management facility psychiatrist only to be treated terribly by the receptionist. I walked out of that building because I did not like the way I was being treated and because of that, I didn't get refills for my medications. This happened February 2015.
Almost needless to say, I have another new case manager (this company changed my case manager three times) and another new psychiatrist (I went back to the hospital where my third psychiatrist was). This is about June 2015. I was supposed to be starting my medications again but did not, because I felt like they weren't helping me the way that they should--if I am still going in to crisis mode, going suicidal and getting hospitalized, what are these medications actually doing?
Now, we are here in July 2015. I recently saw the same psychiatrist from June and explained my feelings and what's going on. She reduced my medications all the way down to a very low dose of Risperidone, once a day. She heard what I said about my feelings on these medications being ineffective but wants to see how I do with this dose of Risperidone. Her reasoning is that: "You were on all of these bipolar medications...blah blah blah..." So, obviously, if I was on "all of these bipolar medications" I must be bipolar--even though there is no bipolar diagnosis anywhere in any of my medical records. Which is fine. Whatever. I'll take the Risperidone if it means that one day I can be medication free.
I know that I have major depression and some anxiety. I know what my triggers are. What's amazing is how much better I feel when my triggers are taken care of. With every thing that I have been through...with how rocky things have been, have gotten...with how unstable things get...it's no surprise the fluctuation of my emotions and mental state.
All of that to say that have anxiety and depression. I have anxiety and depression with good reason.
If you are suffering from mental illness, if you need to take care of your mental health, please do find a healthcare provider that can help and guide you towards a stable state of being. Please, do NOT neglect your mental health for anyone or anything. This blog is written solely for my son and his understanding of what I have gone through since March 29, 2012 and NOT for anyone to garner medical advice.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
I noticed that I'm not posting as much now as I did in the beginning--that's life, it happens, etc. etc. etc. However, now that I realize this, I'm going to try and post more often and with more detail. Right now I'm thinking of all the things that have happened over the last 365 days or so.
First: Mental Illness. Anxiety-depression, bi-polar, etc.
Second: Finances. Work, car, home, etc.
Third: Relationships. Friends, relatives, intimacy, etc.
Now, I titled this post "Pending" because as you see: I've listed what I'd like to go over and elaborate on, but I know it will take me awhile to get through it all--and it may or may not end up being either a very long blog entry or three separate entries. I'm not sure which way I'd like to go regarding that. Hopefully, I won't forget to continue on creating post after post for all of you attentive readers, ha ha.
I did get these entries completed a few days ago, however I am not comfortable posting them right now because of certain things happening at the moment. They will be published soon, I'm not sure when though. However, I have noticed that I have little other things to post so while you wait, you have more to read.
I'm skeeved out by the fact that, via social media, people know who I'm friends with. I'm not so much affected by what I put up publicly because I already have the understanding that I chose "public", although sometimes I question what I put up in this blog. I'm just weirded out. Social networks/networking is just weird, people forget that what you put up there is what (if not everyone, then some) people see and not everything you put up there is something you would want anyone but your most intimate friend to know. All of this brings to mind that I should be more diligent when it comes to the information that I disclose to anyone, regardless of format. Although it generally doesn't matter because there is nothing that anyone can do with any of the information they find on me, it just weirds me out and it weirds me out even more when people try and use whatever information they have against me--especially when they think what they know will somehow affect me in some way, shape or form. It's like if I have three cookies in my lunch bag and they presume I have those three cookies so they taunt me with their "knowledge" of my having three cookies--it's just weird...there has got to be something better to do in their lives than to taunt me about frivolous information against me. Although, I have a very small--almost nonexistent--understanding of why people enjoy drama in their lives, since I don't do drama...so maybe that's why it weirds me out?
I have so much going on in my life that I would like to share because I'm proud of myself for planning, working for and attaining my goals. Getting through life is hard--made harder by people who perpetuate drama--accomplishing things is difficult, but when you actually get through the hard stuff and achieve what you want...The pride, the happiness, the serenity that you feel...it's remarkable.
Lastly, just to be a bit motivational:
Just don't let anyone get you down. Try to keep personal and private information private. No one can hurt you if you don't give them the ammunition--more importantly, even: No one can hurt you if you don't give them a weapon against you (to load and reload). Take their power away. You control the information that people have on you which ultimately means that you are in control of your own feelings and emotions, not anyone else.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
There are a bunch of things that I feel should have happened differently, but then I realize:
It is what it is.
Nothing is ever perfect, nothing is ever going to be perfect.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I am currently waiting for my doctor's appointment. I'm a little bit apprehensive about it because I'm going against what she told me to do last time (and you're not supposed to do that!).
Last week I bought a car. I'm excited about my vehicle because I can afford it and the insurance, I recognize that the next few months are going to be difficult. With that knowledge, I'm trying to move forward and get things accomplished. While I wait for things to get done, I can take my son swimming and that is fantastic.
My memory is getting better, I'm still missing words occasionally, the area where my head hit the window isn't as sensitive as it was in the beginning but it is still sore and I'm still doing well cognitively. I like that my PM&R doctor encourages me to do follow-ups as often as necessary. My depression is better and I think that has a lot to do with the weather and stability. Hopefully things continue on this good path.
I have things planned out pretty far in advance and as excited as I am that these things happen, I'm not banking my entire hopes on their success...because then, if they fail, I'll get depressed again and who wants that, ha ha.